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The New Year’s Ritual

by Tammi Leader
 ∙ Dec 22 ∙ 3 Min Read

Dictionaries define rituals as actions performed as part of a ceremony, often prescribed by the traditions of a community. Sociology tells us that rituals are rules that govern how people behave in the presence of the sacred. Our family says: yes, please.

We have and share lots of them, as they make us feel grounded, giving us a sense that no matter how much things change, our relationship to what we hold sacred holds us together.

Some of the rituals our fam shares with this community:

  • Playing Reveille to get the party started on sessions
  • Hollering, “hey ladies!” so we can all pay attention anew, together
  • Writing letters to ourselves at the end of each retreat to remind us later of the profound lessons we just learned (leaving the envelope open if you want it to be read and responded to…)
  • Closing camp with Love Lines, so we can each digest how much we can contribute to others
  • And s’more

These, my friends, are the constants. We can count on them, and the more we share them, the more we feel connected with those we share them with.

Pardon this interruption, but I dare you to think about:

What are your rituals? Your constants? The activities and exercises you regularly do — the ones you share? How are you honoring them this year (in true form or modified for the times)? If modified, can you find comfort in recreating, or modifying the old into a whole new way of thinking to stay in sync with where you are right now?

OK, Back to it:

One of my family’s favorite end of year rituals happens on New Year’s Eve or in the week leading up to it, when we write up a list of things we want to get rid or let go of before another year rolls in. And then we burn that list.

Sometimes in a raging fireplace or pit. Other times in an aluminum bucket. Doesn’t really matter (as long as it’s safe).

See, once that sh*t is torched, any heaviness; any crap; any anything we want to leave behind that we’ve been carrying all year just disintegrates. Fast.

I love declaring a bold farewell to all that’s tripped me up and then watching it just – poof – go up in flames.

It reminds me of how easy it can be to wipe my slate clean and begin new again.

This year, my list is different than years past, because so am I!

Like this idea, and want to join me and my fam – and our Campowerment Crew – in this ritual? Please do!

An easy how-to:

  1. Think: do you want this to be a solo exercise or shared experience? If you want to share it, reach out to invite someone to join you!
  2. Snag a paper and pen or thick-ass perm marker while you’re at it! If permanent marker, once you commit to what you want to dump, there’s no turning back… (Love this for you!)
  3. Write down everything – I mean, everything – you want to ditch, drop, leave way behind in 2020. Write it as a list, as a letter. Draw it. However you want it to exist, just get it out on paper!
  4. Secure your safe bin or bucket or place to light your “Adios, 2020” note
  5. Light her up and say bye-bye!

See ya lata, stuff that doesn’t serve us! And cheers to a re-ignited YOU. So glad we’re in this together.

From the campfire & beyond,

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